Miami University’s Department of Chemistry contributed 125,000 masks and 750 pairs of safety goggles to be donated to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Butler County Health Commission as cases of the novel coronavirus continue to grow in Southwest Ohio.
On March 21, College of Arts and Science Dean Chris Makaroff sent an email to several university departments regarding the need for critical medical supplies at local hospitals.
Included in the email was a list of things the university could donate.
“We didn't have everything on the list,” professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry Michael Crowder said. "In a couple of hours, though, we had 125,000 gloves that medical personnel use to glove up when they have people coming in.”
With courses being moved online, the gloves were not being used in class.
Several hours after Mackroff’s initial email, Vice President of Research and Innovation Jim Oris sent out another email concerning supplies.
“Last week, [Governor DeWine] in one of his daily press conferences asked [if] institutions of higher education ... could consider donating them to health agencies that needed them. I took on the responsibility of organizing an email campaign for departments to look at their supplies,” Oris said.
In response to the email, Crowder’s staff collected 750 safety goggles to include in the donation.
Many other departments including psychology, biomedical engineering, biology, kinesiology and health and microbiology also contributed items from their inventory.
Some of these goods include chemical aprons, respirators, alcohol prep pads, surgical masks, face shields, lab coats, shoe covers, 200 disposable gowns, more than 3,000 surgical masks, and 160,000 gloves.
The Miami University Police Department and Hamilton Campus also contributed goods.
“This has been a university-wide thing,” Crowder said. “I think people are dying to help in any way they can. They just need to be told what they could do to help.”
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For now, Crowder looks forward to students returning to campus and hopes the department will eventually be able to restock what they donated.
“You know, you can sit down and think about how depressing it is," Crowder said, "but if you look at how people have responded in such a positive way, it does give a little silver lining to what we are going through."
Students with questions about the coronavirus and the university’s policies can reach out to Associated Student Government.